Whiskey, cocaine and bullets on Nebraskan backroads.

November 1, 2010 § Leave a comment

Present day about 2 weeks from the failed Rome experience.

And one day we will die and our ashes will fly in that aeroplane over the sea.”

Aeroplane over the Sea – Neutral Milk Hotel.

It was late afternoon in a San Francisco hotel room when I learnt of the death of Maxi Dos Santos. I had been awake for around ten minutes when the news reached me. I had had an early deadline for a review of the hotel I was staying at and as I so often did with early deadlines I stayed up all night drinking and writing, why go to sleep if I was to be up soon? The internet submission meant I was free to sleep to the early afternoon, which suited me with the hangover I had acquired. Say what you want about the gays, they sure as hell can dress and drink. So with the city below me starting to buzz with the sound of electric cars and San Fransiscos own self-esteem I opened my laptop to find out if the world was still spinning. San Francisco is one of the only places in the world were the world could stop spinning and the some of the people would be too far up their own asses to notice, they ruin this great city. The world was still spinning, apart from in a small area in north Buckinghamshie which had been still since the death of its last born son. Social-networking sites were the first I heard of it, a few phone calls confirmed it for the record. He has been dead for one day.

Maxi earned his money recording musicians in studios. What made Maxi different was he could set up a studio anywhere, he was under-appreciated in his field, if you rang him and asked him to set up a studio on the other side of the world in the middle of a battlefield half a day later you could send Jack Johnson in to do one of those laid back finger plucking songs that everyone pretends to be so fond of. I’m straying off the point. He was out in Omaha Nebraska in the states, he had just successfully raped up the album of the up and coming indie band Back on the Florida Queys, something about Maxi was he may not have been a rockstar but he took great pride in out drinking them. So on the night they had finished recording their master piece they all went out drinking together in what sounds like quite an eventful night.

After acquiring a selection of liquor and two cult python 6 six shooter with long barrels they set out on their night of mayhem. About an hour and 6 bottles in the group came across a parked police cruiser, the policeman was inside a local shop buying items when he returned to find the drummer of the band putting a Jack Daniels bottle through the windscreen, the cop just stood and watched he had left all his guns and jurisdiction in the car. But Maxi was not one to be out done, he politely asked the drummer to step away from the car, at which point he pulled those long gun barrels out from his belt buckle. Maxi was the sort of man who would carry a loaded gun in his underwear, it was just the way he was. With that he unloaded 12 rounds into the squad car, with windows smashing and sparks flying all over the place. In that moment he was truly free, with the recoil from those guns as they popped and rang through the night sky, one last fuck you. The group made their getaway in a Chevrolet saloon and tore through the night through the back roads shooting at the sky, one last cry for attention, each taking turns to drive and each pushing the car a little further than they should. Just like we had done that night in Rome. They ditched it on a back road, the back stepped out and while trying to straighten it out the driver put it into a tree. Everyone walked away from the accident bloody and bruised. The drummer, the bassist and some journalist prick they had taken along for the ride had passed out in the forest leaving Maxi and lead singer Eric Williams sat in a deserted road drunk and stupid with a loaded gun. Maxi was not to be out done. 4 minutes, one game of Russian Roulette and a very load bang later and the brains of my dear friend were splattered all over a back road in Nebraska by the skeleton frame of a burnt out Chevrolet.

I seem to know a lot about this night, but on record, for the record, and as the record reads, I was not there. The body would be take back to England. The lucky should only get lucky once, after that it’s just greedy. God bless that mad Mexican motherfucker.

It may sound strange but at times like that you just have to smile. When you take that little bit of solace from the fact that your mad friend went out in the mad blaze of glory that he deserved. As I sat downstairs sipping on some hotel health food excuse for coffee I thought about all the little things that we worry about, like how we had worried that night in Rome, and it turns out over nothing, how people give up smoking and then are hit by a bus. Life’s a gamble, it’s a game of Russian Roulette after walking away from a car crash, why limp away and call it quits when you could have it all? This generation has a it all, but we are willing to risk it for a just a little more. My thoughts were interprted throughout by sharp shooting pains I had from breaking some ribs a few nights before. Goodnight Maxi, exit stage right, your finest work so far, I love you.


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